Common brand names: E-mycin, Eryc


Description: Erythromycin is a macrolide-type antibiotic most often prescribed to patients with penicillin allergies.


Dental Uses: Erythromycin is used in the treatment of dental abscesses, infections around wisdom teeth, infections that develop after dental surgery, and periocoronitis. It is not used in the treatment of periodontal disease because the disease-causing bacteria often are not susceptible to it.


Dosages for dental purposes: The typical adult dosage is 250 milligrams to 500 milligrams every six hours for seven to 10 days. Dosing for children is based on body weight.


Concerns and possible side effects: Side effects including nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea are more common with erythromycin than with penicillin VK.


Erythromycin causes the accumulation of a number of drugs in the body if taken concurrently. These include:


The asthma drug theophylline (brand name, Theo-dur)

The non-sedating antihistamines terfenadine (brand name, Seldane) and astemizole (brand name, Hismanal)

The blood-thinning agents warfarin and dicumarol (brand name, Coumadin)

The “statin” cholesterol-lowering drugs such as lovastatin (brand name, Mevacor), simvastatin (brand name, Zocor) and atorvastatin (brand name, Lipitor)

This list is not complete and it continues to grow. These interactions with erythromycin are potentially serious and life threatening. It is imperative to inform your dentist of all medications you are currently taking.

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